SPECIES: Lepidorrhachis mooreana — Little Mountain Palm
CLASSIFICATION: Critically endangered
Up at the summits of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird you'll find an endemic palm, only found on these mounts on Lord Howe Island. Little Mountain Palm grows to around 3m in height and it finds itself in a spot of bother, being listed as a critically endangered species - it's current natural habitat now covering less than 4 square kms. Little Mountain Palm grows in the cloud forests of the summits, requiring cool, windy condition and an extremely moist climate.
Black Rats have impacted on the island flora by predating on the seed fruits, thus, preventing plants from reproducing. In recent times, eradication of the rats has lead to successful palm recruitment for the Little Mountain Palm and also other endemic species that also suffered. Likewise, and an ongong issue on LHI are the invasive weeds which threaten the Palm and other native flora.
Photo: William J Baker